What are RM Rileys?

What is an RM Riley?

Riley was the first car manufacturer to announce a genuine new model after the war ended in 1945.  The 1½-litre saloon was a development of the 12hp pre-war Riley and this was soon joined by a 2½-litre saloon, a development of the pre-war 16hp model.  During the period of the production run of post-war Rileys, the letters RM (for Riley Motors) with an alphabetical suffix (denoting the model) were applied to the model as a means of identification. Riley RMs were built initially in Coventry until production switched to Abingdon in 1949.  Large number of cars were exported, in particular to North America, Australia and New Zealand, where many reside today.

Just over 28000 Riley cars were produced in the RM series between 1945 and 1957. These consisted of approximately:

13950 1½-litre saloon cars which were designated RMA from August 1945 up until June 1952 and then RME until production finished in January 1955

7950 2½-litre saloon cars which were designated RMB from June 1946 up until August 1952 and then RMF until production finished just one year later.

500 2½-litre cars were built as Roadsters (RMC) between mid-1948 and December 1950.

500 2½-litre cars were built as Dropheads (RMD) between mid-1949 and May 1951.

5150 2½-litre saloon cars were built as the Pathfinder which was the replacement for the RMF. These cars, also known as the RMH, were built between Autumn 1953 and February 1957.

A number of vehicles were also supplied as chassis only and a range of coachbuilders, such as Bonallack and Epps, produced cars with special bodies including a number of estate cars or “woodies”.

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